Dog Senses: How Do They Know?

Dog Senses: How Do They Know?

We all know dogs are extremely intelligent. Many dog owners, if not all, claim their pups know things that humans simply don’t. Some even tell stories of their dogs seeing ghosts in the house or having a preemptive feeling that saved someone’s life. We all were wondering how our dogs would react to the solar eclipse this past week. Whether or not your dog showed any sign of the impending eclipse, dogs really can perceive things that we cannot.


We rely on the meteorologists at our local news channels to tell us the weather every morning or we check our phones to see if it will rain later in the day. NASA let us know when the solar eclipse was taking place. They even told us the exact time and how long it would last! Because of this convenience, we have virtually no instincts regarding the weather and other natural events. Why would we when the information is so easily given to us? My cattle dog, however, is completely aware of the little signs and changes around him that let him know a storm is coming. He has a fear of thunder and the loud noise makes him very uncomfortable. He begins to bed down and take cover in his crate before the storm even begins and before I can tell that rain is coming. The weather is a complicated, dynamic, and often unpredictable natural phenomenon, but my dog seems to have an understanding of it that I do not. Why is that?


Animals are very instinctual and in tune to their environment. They are still tapped into the natural world in a way that humans simply do not need to be anymore. We developed language that allows us to communicate effectively to each other. We created technology that makes our instincts less of a requirement for survival. Because of this major difference between animals and humans, the behavior of our dogs and other pets before and during natural phenomena may seem strange to us, but they are simply paying attention to little details that we tend to miss. Here are a few ways dogs sense a change in the weather well before we do:


How Dogs Sense Weather & Atmospheric Changes

They’re Feeling The Pressure
Barometric pressure is the pressure of the air weighing down on the Earth. Before any kind of storm or natural event, this pressure changes. It’s a subtle sign that animals pick up on and it may be the reason your fur baby started acting a little strange during the solar eclipse.

Those Cute Little Ears
Your furry friends ears aren’t just adorable, they’re also about 20 times better at hearing sound than your human ears! When a thunderstorm is approaching, your pup hears the rumble long before it reaches you. They can even feel the sound vibrations as it moves closer, too. That’s impressive!

Oh, The Smells!
We all know dogs have an incredible sense of smell. Some dogs, like hound breeds, can even smell up to 100 times better than a human can! The changes in the air and the humidity are easily smelled by those wet noses, alerting our best buds to the oncoming storm.


Did your dog act strangely before or during the solar eclipse? Does he whine and hide in the tub when a storm is on its way? Send us a video and your pup could be featured on our new YouTube Channel or a future Webisode! Send videos to: . *

*Please do not endanger any people or animals during filming. All videos become property of Dog Psychology 101 and Angie Woods.

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2 Comments on "Dog Senses: How Do They Know?"

  • Jo Ekstedt says

    My dog, Onyx, suddenly developed a thunderstorm phobia about 2 years ago. It just came out of the blue that summer. One t-storm she was just fine and then wild and crazy the next one. She really tries to dig. She can be very destructive if we are away. She doesn’t like her crate very much. The times I’ve put her in it during a storm, she would dig even more and try to get out and almost turned it over. I’m afraid she hurt herself. She is better if we are at home when one comes. Nothing really seems to completely work. We have to give her Ace if we are going to be gone and anticipate a t-storm. Some essential oils have helped. Noises such a fireworks don’t bother her. Does anyone else have any suggestions? She goes to doggie daycare a few days a week. They tell me she does okay there. It is in the basement of our vet, and she is in a large sized kennel when she isn’t playing.

    I took her with me to see the eclipse in the north Georgia mountains not far from our home. She enjoyed seeing all the people and other dogs. She is really friendly and sociable. She and the other dogs did bark right when the eclipse was total. She wasn’t anxious or stressed during any of it. She did seem to know something was happening

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